Ch. 2: Academic White Supremacy


Part 1: Neo-Confederate Network:
Mises Institute and League of the South

The Ludwig von Mises Institute is a think tank founded in 1982 by Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard with a mission:

to promote teaching and research in the Austrian school of economics, and individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. (Mises Institute website)

This Mises Institute is a “Neo-confederate” think tank. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) describes “neo-confederacy” as “a reactionary, revisionist predilection for symbols of the [confederacy], typically paired with a strong belief in the validity of the failed doctrines of nullification and secession.”

SPLC describes how the Mises Institute’s “interest in neo-Confederate themes reflects” their “radical libertarian view of government and economics” and stated aim to "undermine statism in all its forms."

Among the openly secessionist founders and scholars at the Mises Institute, many of them formed a militant sister organization called the League of the South. At least nine Mises Institute scholars have been active with the League of the South.

Archived versions of the LOS website show that Mises Institute co-founders Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard are listed as “charter members” of the League of the South. Other Mises Institute founders that helped found the LOS include Jeffrey Tucker, Thomas Woods, and Clyde Wilson.  

The LOS eventually founded the tthe League of the South Institute for “the Study of Southern Culture and History.” It was described as the “educational arm of the Southern independence movement.” The Mises Institute’s Donald Livingston was its first director.

Other current Mises Institute “affiliate scholars” that were LOS Institute “faculty” include: Thomas DiLorenzo, Marshall DeRosa, Thomas Flemming, and Joseph Stromberg.

The Southern Poverty Law Center declared the League of the South to be a hate group in 2000.

As recently as 2009, Mises scholars Clyde Wilson, Thomas DiLorenzo, Marshall DeRosa, and Joseph Stromberg were listed as “Affiliated Scholars” at the League of the South Institute. The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that “many League [of the South] members have taught at the [Mises] institute's seminars and given presentations at its conferences,” including LOSI faculty like Thomas Fleming.

As a legal entity, the League of the South Institute is “the educational branch of the Mary Noel Kershaw Foundation,” named after the wife of the late Jack Kershaw, longtime leader within the violent White Citizens Council. Kershaw was also a founding board member of the League of the South. In 1998, Kershaw erected a statue of Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest, explaining that “somebody needs to say a good word for slavery. Where in the world are the Negroes better off today than in America?”

Kershaw was an affiliate of the LOS Institute, alongside many of the Mises Institute faculty mentioned above (including DeRosa), until his death in 2009. (Read more on the League of the South.)

[In Part 2 of this chapter, we examine the members, funding, and affiliations within the network of Neo-Confederate economists. ]